SAO PAULO, July 19 (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge ordered wireless phone carriers to block access to Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp indefinitely, starting on Tuesday, the third such incident against the popular phone messaging app in eight months.
The decision by Judge Daniela Barbosa Assunção de Souza in the southeastern state of Rio de Janeiro applies to Brazil’s five wireless carriers. The reason for the order was not known due to legal secrecy in an ongoing case, and will only be lifted once Facebook surrenders data, Souza’s office said.
São Paulo-based representatives at WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook Inc, as well as the Brazilian five carriers - Telefonica Brasil SA, América Móvil SAB’s Claro, TIM Participações SA, Oi SA and Nextel Participações SA - did not have an immediate comment. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr and Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Additional reporting by Ropdrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)